There is a character in the Larger Story you and I are in who is determined to make us lose our way and fail to find our rightful place and our role to play. The great villain opposes our living full and free out of our masculine hearts because he knows the impact we would have if we did.
In order for us to understand the context our personal stories fit into, we need to understand the nature of the Larger Story and its characters. Bunnies and chipmunks suggest quite a different story than do cowboys and Indians, or aliens and Jedis, or rangers from the North and orcs from Isengard. The relationship between the characters in the story and the context of the story are inseparable. And it is here that men suffer from a great blind spot in their masculine journey. It is as if our enemy has pledged,
We must deceive them, lie to them about where they are and what Life is really about. We must shift the context of their lives a few degrees so they will never find rest for their hearts nor step into the true roles that are theirs to play. We must blind them to the One who made them and loves them by offering the illusion of control and the life goal of comfort and ease—a life they will settle for and yet can never truly have.
Getting men to settle for a smaller story is a condition, a weakness with which the enemy has had a field day.
It’s like kryptonite.
In his essay, This World: Playground or Battlefield, A. W. Tozer wrote,
“The idea that this world is a playground instead of a battleground has now been accepted in practice by the vast majority of Christians. A right view of God and the world to come requires that we have a right view of the world in which we live and of our relationship to it. So much depends upon this that we cannot afford to be careless about it.”
The Life we are meant for, the one granted to us by God, is both fragile and glorious. It must be understood, learned, and practiced. Charles E. Fuller, founder of Fuller Seminary, once said,
“Fellowship with God means warfare with the world.”
Similarly, Oswald Chambers wrote,
“Life without war is impossible either in nature or in grace. I must learn to fight against and overcome the things that come against me, and in that way produce the balance of holiness. Then it becomes a delight to meet opposition.”
Our enemies are ancient, ruthless, and diabolical, and they are opposed to everything good in us and in this world.
They are not to be feared, but they are to be understood and respected. Jesus mounted a revolution against them on our behalf, and now he commissions us to continue his fight for our hearts and the hearts of others.
Men cannot join Jesus in bringing in the Kingdom and advancing freedom, nor caring for the injured and releasing those who are bound by being “pacifists.” Jesus wasn’t one, nor should we be. He is the Prince of Peace; it is a peace that is won. It is a peace on the other side of battle, worth fighting for and worth fighting to keep.
In your Time alone with God, ask Him:
Father God, what is in the way of me understanding my role in the Larger Story?
Jesus, where have I settled for a smaller story? Is there some (positive or negative) part of my story where I have missed the significance of what’s really going on?
Holy Spirit, bring conviction to me in the areas of my life where I’ve not fought my own selfishness or the tricks of Satan.